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Taming Your New Doc Martens: A Guide to the Break-In Process

Taming Your New Doc Martens: A Guide to the Break-In Process

Stepping into a fresh pair of Doc Martens is like stepping into a legacy of style and endurance. Yet, this initial stride might not be the most comfortable one. These durable, classic boots are notorious for their stiff leather and the perseverance required to break them in. Fear not, as this guide will help you navigate the breaking-in process and tame your new Doc Martens.

Step 1: Securing the Right Fit

A successful break-in begins at the point of purchase – by ensuring you have the correct size. Your Doc Martens should offer a snug fit without being overly tight. Try them on with a pair of thick socks, which you will likely use during the break-in process. Remember, while the leather will stretch and adapt over time, a boot that's too small will only lead to prolonged discomfort.

Step 2: Gradual Wear-In

Resist the temptation to wear your new Doc Martens for an entire day immediately. Instead, start by wearing them around your home for an hour or two per day. This initial phase allows your feet to adapt to the boots and the boots to gradually mold to your feet's shape.

Step 3: The Role of Thick Socks

Thick socks serve a dual purpose in the breaking-in process. Firstly, they provide an additional layer of cushioning, reducing friction and the chance of blisters. Secondly, they contribute to stretching the leather, facilitating the molding process. Opt for woolen or thick cotton socks for optimum results.

Step 4: Enlisting the Help of Leather Conditioners

Leather conditioning products can be your secret weapon in the battle to soften stiff leather. These moisturize and soften the material, making it more flexible and comfortable. Using a soft cloth, apply the conditioner to the boots, focusing on high-tension areas like the heel and toe box.

Step 5: Shoe Stretchers and Spoons – Unexpected Aids

Shoe stretchers can be a useful tool if the leather on your Doc Martens is exceptionally stiff. They can stretch both the width and length of the boot, easing the tightness. Alternatively, the back of a spoon can be used to gently stretch the leather from the inside, focusing on tight spots.

Step 6: Home Testing Before Outdoor Excursions

Before spending a day outside in your new Doc Martens, take the time to wear them in at home. This 'home run' will help you gauge any potential discomfort zones, so you can make necessary adjustments before venturing outdoors.

Step 7: The Power of Patience

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, be patient. Breaking in Doc Martens can take several weeks, but this period of initial discomfort pales in comparison to the many years of comfort that properly broken-in boots provide. Take your time and let your boots mold to your feet gradually.


While breaking in a new pair of Doc Martens can seem like a daunting task, with patience and the right strategies, the process can be much smoother. Use this guide to help navigate your way to comfortable, personalized boots that will serve you for many years to come.

Remember that everyone's experience can vary and it's important to listen to your body. If you're facing consistent, significant discomfort or pain, it may be a sign that the boots are not the right fit for you. Consulting a footwear specialist or podiatrist in such cases can be beneficial.

Think of the break-in process as a short-term project, one that leads to a long-term investment in comfort and style. Once you've successfully tamed your new Doc Martens, you'll be able to enjoy these iconic boots to their fullest, setting out on new adventures with each step.


About Jermaine Hagan (The Plantsman)

Jermaine Hagan, also known as The Plantsman is the Founder of Flik Eco. Jermaine is the perfect hybrid of personal finance expert and nemophilist. On a mission to make personal finance simple and accessible, Jermaine uses his inside knowledge to help the average Joe, Kwame or Sarah to improve their lives. Before founding Flik Eco, Jermaine managed teams across several large financial companies, including Equifax, Admiral Plc, New Wave Capital & HSBC. He has been featured in several large publications including BBC, The Guardian & The Times.